Selectmen on Thursday: Fayville Hall Disposition; Golf Course funding, naming, and CR; Main St easements; FY16 audit; and OML complaints

by beth on January 17, 2018

Post image for Selectmen on Thursday: Fayville Hall Disposition; Golf Course funding, naming, and CR; Main St easements; FY16 audit; and OML complaints

When I posted the Government meetings for the week yesterday, I included my usual caveat:

Be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

But, the late-week, evening Board of Selectmen meeting that popped up is unusual.* And given some of the noteworthy items on the agenda, I decided special notice to readers was warranted.

The BOS is now scheduled to meet twice on Thursday night, January 18th. The board will convene at 6:00 pm in it’s normal location – Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St.

That agenda includes the following items (in my words):

  • FY16 Audit Report
  • Fayville Hall Disposition – Final report of committee
  • Police Dept staffing changes
  • Request by St. Mark’s School to move the stone wall at Marlboro Rd intersection (closer to the street, ending off on-grass parking at the field)
  • Main St reconstruction easement payments
  • Golf Course Committee update (including issues on funding needed)
  • Chairman’s report on Open Meeting Law complaints (including revised complaint filed on January 5th by David Parry)
  • Establish a committee on renaming St. Mark’s Golf Course
  • Potential vote on Golf Management contract for St. Mark’s Golf Club

Click here to see the full posted agenda and materials packet.

The board will then recess and reconvene at the Senior Center (9 Cordaville Road, Rooms A&B). There, they will hold a joint meeting with the Conservation Commission. 

As I posted yesterday, ConCom’s agenda includes a discussion on holding the Conservation Restriction for the Golf Course. The Golf Course Conservation Restriction Committee will also attend.

ConCom is scheduled to open its meeting at 7:30 pm, but the CR discussion isn’t on the agenda until 9:00 pm.

Southborough Access Media will broadcast the Town House portion of the BOS meeting live on Verizon-37 and Charter-192.**

*Occasionally, the board does have late-week meetings that pop up. But they are usually in the morning with agendas that appear to focus on dispatching administrative items that can’t wait.

Otherwise, the board normally meets on Tuesday nights. The previous agenda listed last night as the next meeting, which obviously didn’t happen. Selectmen may have discussed the schedule change at their last meeting – but if I missed that, I’m assuming many interested readers did, too.

**Click here to see this week’s schedule with rebroadcast times. (Videos are also usually made available through their YouTube channel by the following morning.)

(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Townie January 17, 2018 at 1:00 PM

So, the GC committee needs roughly $640,000 for construction, temporary facilities, and permanent relocation of holes 1 and 9…. I vote NO! This town has a needs list that has items waiting for funds, those should be taking priority. Not a golf course that only a small percentage of towns people actually play on.

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2 beth January 17, 2018 at 1:48 PM

To be fair, it’s not clear from the printed presentation if the committee will be asking for that amount.

The presentation in the packet outlines expenses of around that amount. And presumably how to pay for those costs will be part of tomorrow night’s discussion with selectmen. But a request isn’t specified in writing. And the presentation also recommends creating a Friends organization and refers to potential for grants.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume they will make a big ask. I’m curious about what your position is beyond not paying for it.

Not paying any money wouldn’t maintain status quo minus the golfers. To preserve the public vista requires landscaping. Proponents for preserving it pitched that an operating golf course would, down the road, cover ongoing landscaping costs.

Are you presuming that landscaping would be less expensive than investing in keeping the course open? Or are you advocating to let the land go to seed? Or do you have a different thought?

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3 Townie January 18, 2018 at 9:33 AM

I understand the big concern is making sure the status quo of the golfers stays, but I don’t think thats a realistic goal worthy of taxing every resident. I don’t see the whole town paying to keep a course open for only a few. I personally would rather see nature take its course and reclaim the land. Or, maybe keeping it a meadow and only mowing a few times a year. That sounds like a way cheaper option to maintaining that vital open space. We have bought the land, and the worry about a down town park central has been averted. Golf courses of that size are declining tremendously, why get into that business with that known statistic? We have already approved a massive sum of money for a PSC that is needed to house the towns emergency services. Lets sit back and save the majority of residents money, stay out of the failing small golf course business, and really think hard about how to perverse, use, and maintain the remaining land instead of running around like chickens with with their heads cut off trying to figure out how to keep a failing golf course running on the tax payers dime.

Maybe a new pasture for the belted cows?!? Haha

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4 Matthew January 17, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Potentially the heavy lifting required to take care of holes one and nine could be covered by the construction vehicles and crews that will be present to do the digging, excavation and other landscaping required of the primary construction.
Joining these efforts should save us significant labor costs.

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5 Townie January 19, 2018 at 7:43 AM

You’re correct, the heavy lifting could be done by the crews already working there. But, that still costs money, and time. The PSC budget is already tight, why take money away from the PSC to do work for a golf course who’s future is dismal? That money could have paid for a better computer system for 911, or better security system to protect the ones protecting us. The time the crews used to do heavy lifting for the golf course could have been use to help stay on schedule with the PSC.

In the end, yes, it could save some money. But it will only save money at the cost of taking money away from the PSC and taking time away from their already set schedule which in my view is unacceptable.

If I remember correctly back at special town meeting Mr. Parry stated he was in support of the PSC, golf course idea as long as the golf course did not interfere with the PSC being constructed. Well, it has become a thorn in the PSC side. The golf course needs to be complete separate from the PSC. If the golf course proves to not be viable or cost effective being separated, well that’s what I call fate.

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6 arborist January 18, 2018 at 1:31 PM

I say put the golfing on hold for now, I agree with townie , Lets get the new PS building up and running, It is far more important that golf, besides why do you think st marks school got rid of it? if you want to golf join Hopkinton Country club just over the town line

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7 Andre Fortin January 19, 2018 at 10:54 AM

Quoting Townie:
“If I remember correctly back at special town meeting Mr. Parry stated he was in support of the PSC, golf course idea as long as the golf course did not interfere with the PSC being constructed. Well, it has become a thorn in the PSC side. The golf course needs to be complete separate from the PSC. If the golf course proves to not be viable or cost effective being separated, well that’s what I call fate.”

Comment:
What I call that is being totally misinformed.
With all due respect.
This project is not about segregating out any single item. From the very beginning, it was about totality, compromise and inclusivity: keeping the project’s Holy Trinity (The PSB, The Golf Course, and The Open Land under A Conservation Restriction in perpetuity) together as a whole going forward, for what we feel is for the betterment of the Town, as was agreed to by Town residents in the spirit of Town vote on March 8th, 2017.
And it can be done. That’s what we are all working together very hard right now to accomplish. And it can be a beautiful thing, especially doing it all while preserving this precious piece of land, so that you can enjoy it too.
You’re not helping the situation by twisting facts in order to satisfy an urge to anonymously vent out your inner frustrations in an open forum in this manner.

The Arborist wrote:
“if you want to golf join Hopkinton Country club just over the town line”

Comment:
Awesome, I’ll give you my bank info and you can deposit the $15,000.00 difference between memberships at both places. Oops, I forgot the initiation fee. Throw in another 10K just to be sure. Thanks man!
Come on. This is a municipal course, pretty but humble, which will be affordable to the poorest amongst us, inc. me. We are not talking about country clubs here. Please have a heart. And ” pause to think” before posting such an outrageous comment, with all due respect.
Thank you.

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8 Townie January 19, 2018 at 5:24 PM

I think the missinformed are the small group of “spirit of the vote” ones who assumed that the article to approved the purchase of the land and building of the PSC also included the golf course, which is grossly incorrect.

As for the “which will be affordable to the poorest” comment. You’re right, it’ll be affordable because the rest of the tab will be picked up by every resident of this town. Nothing like a good time on someone else’s dime.

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9 Andre Fortin January 22, 2018 at 6:10 PM

Townie, that is simply not correct. Without the golfers and open space proponents coming together to support the purchase, it NEVER would have passed.
We would still be looking for a solution for our first responders.
St-Marks would have sold the land to JOE the Builder.
Golfers pay to play. St-Marks never lost money. We are working towards making sure that the Town continues to draw an income stream from its municipal course, open to the public.
I know I won’t see you there but maybe someday/somewhere we can have a talk about it.
Sincerely,
Andre

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